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Buemi holds off di Grassi to take Monaco Formula E victory

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MONACO – Sebastien Buemi extended his lead at the top of the FIA Formula E drivers’ championship after holding off title rival Lucas di Grassi in the closing stages of Saturday’s Monaco ePrix, taking his fourth win of the season.

Buemi picked up his first pole of the campaign in qualifying earlier in the day, with long-term rival Lucas di Grassi taking second on the grid to set the stage for another tense battle between the pair.

Buemi made a clean start and forged an early lead over di Grassi through the first stint of the race, but a safety car period following a clash between Nelson Piquet Jr. and Jean-Eric Vergne allowed the Brazilian to close up once again.

With the strategy options on offer to teams removed by the safety car, forcing the majority of runners to pit on the same lap, Buemi was left to fight di Grassi through the second half of the race while keeping a careful eye on energy usage given the extended stint.

Buemi’s lead over di Grassi stood at over a second at one point, but the Brazilian made inroads in the closing stages of the race, leaving the pair to run nose-to-tail in the final few laps.

Di Grassi darted behind Buemi as he looked to make an overtake on the last lap, but the Renault e.dams driver was able to hold on and record his fourth win of the season.

Nick Heidfeld followed the pair home in third place for Mahindra, having gained a position at the start and then benefitted from the clash between Piquet and Vergne. Piquet was able to continue and finished fourth, but Vergne was less fortunate, being eliminated on the spot.

Maro Engel took his best result in Formula E with fifth place for Venturi ahead of Felix Rosenqvist, while Daniel Abt finished seventh for ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport. Esteban Gutierrez was eighth for Techeetah as Antonio Felix da Costa and Nicolas Prost rounded out the points in P9 and P10 respectively.

The next Formula E race takes place in one week’s time in Paris, France.

Hamilton hails ‘greatest day’ after USGP victory, Mercedes title win

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Lewis Hamilton made no secret of his jubilation after taking a giant step towards his fourth Formula 1 championship win with victory in Sunday’s United States Grand Prix that also saw Mercedes clinch the constructors’ title.

Hamilton recovered from an early pass by F1 title rival Sebastian Vettel to take his sixth victory on American soil, five of which have come at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, to extend his lead to 66 points.

With just 75 left on offer this season, Hamilton needs just one top-five finish in the final three races to clinch his fourth world title, with the enormity of the victory not being lost on the Mercedes driver.

“Today has been amazing. It’s been the greatest day,” Hamilton told NBCSN after the race.

“I woke up a bit tired, felt the rain, then was like, ‘What the hell?’ But I didn’t mind. I won here in the rain in the past. Then it dried up, clear blue skies, amazing opening at the beginning of the GP.

“I lost first place into Turn 1. It was OK. That first section, we got through there, and it felt very reminiscent of 2012: ‘Game on. You have to save the tires’, and he wasn’t doing that. I kind of kept my cool.”

“I saw I got a good exit of Turn 1, this was the lap and it was. His tires were dropping off anyway.”

Hamilton’s victory saw Mercedes wrap up its fourth consecutive F1 constructors’ title with three races to spare, with the Briton having played a key part in each of its successes.

“I’m so proud of this team. Big congratulations to the guys, people don’t know the amount of work they do,” Hamilton said.

“It’s over 1,500 people in two factories, so much brainpower and a lot of people to manage to extract the best from each of those.

“To come into a new era of car and perform as we have. There’s been a newfound love within the team. Ferrari, we want to beat them, thrash them.

“So they put more hours of working in to do that. That’s for all their hard work.”